The Light in the Ruins

Chris Bohjalian. Doubleday, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-53481-9
An exploration of post-WWII Italy doubles as a murder mystery in this well-crafted novel from Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls). In 1952 Florence, Francesca Rosati, a dress-shop worker, is brutally murdered by a killer who carves out her heart, and Detective Serafina Bettini is assigned to solve the homicide. She discovers Francesca had married into the once wealthy and powerful Rosati family, who owned a large estate in the same hills near Florence where Serafina fought as a partisan. The Rosatis, headed by matriarch Beatrice, hosted Nazi officers on their property during the war, breeding deep animosity among the local populace. Serafina’s belief that Francesca’s murder is linked to this lingering resentment of the family is strengthened after another Rosati is found dead. The investigation leads Serafina back to the former Rosati estate, and she learns that the family’s wartime record was more complicated than it appears. Meanwhile, in a series of short chapters, the vengeful serial killer vows to destroy the surviving Rosatis. Bohjalian tips his hand too early as to the killer’s identity, but otherwise delivers an entertaining historical whodunit. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 07/09/2013
Paperback - 434 pages - 978-0-8041-2091-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-91741-6
Open Ebook - 214 pages - 978-1-4619-5877-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-4753-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-385-53482-6
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-0-307-74392-3
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!